Are you trying to decide between James Allen and Clean Origin for your diamond purchase? Look no further! Our expert guide will provide you with valuable insights into:
- The quality of their shopping experience
- The terms and conditions of their warranties
- The overall value for your money
- What their customers have to say about them
Let’s take a closer look at James Allen and Clean Origin to help you make an informed decision. While both vendors are known for their exceptional diamonds, there are some key differences to consider.
For the purpose of this comparison, we will be focusing on James Allen’s lab-grown diamonds, as Clean Origin specializes in lab-grown diamonds exclusively. It’s worth noting that lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as naturally mined diamonds.
The term “shopping experience” refers to the various aspects that a jewelry store, whether online or physical, provides to its customers. These include factors such as the range of products available, the quality of grading reports, and the various showroom options that are available.
Ultimately, the shopping experience is what sets a store apart from its competitors and enhances the overall purchasing experience for the customer.
Customers who visit James Allen’s website will find an impressive range of products, including mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, colored gemstones, fancy colored diamonds, and diamond jewelry. It’s worth noting that all of James Allen’s diamonds are ethically sourced and conflict-free.
In particular, James Allen’s lab-grown diamond section currently offers colorless and lab-created fancy yellow diamonds, with approximately 14,000 IGI-certified lab-grown diamonds of varying grades. The 360˚ viewer on the website is a standout feature, providing customers with a clear and detailed view of the diamonds from every angle, making it easy to spot any blemishes.
However, one potential downside of James Allen’s lab-grown diamonds is the limited variance among the diamond grades. For example, if a customer is looking to save money by selecting a lower color grade, they may not have that option. It’s also worth noting that specific cuts and clarity grades may be harder to find, with only 220 Excellent cut Round diamonds with eye-clean clarity grades (VS2 and above) available.
Nonetheless, customers have plenty of ring settings to choose from, with around 250 options available on the website. The new Ring Studio feature even allows for further customization of certain settings, such as changing the ring head to rose gold while keeping the band yellow gold.
James Allen offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free lifetime warranty for their fine jewelry. The warranty covers routine repairs that the jewelry may need over time.
Clean Origin’s website offers a unique and organized design, focused solely on lab grown diamonds that are ethically sourced. While they cannot claim to be sustainable, (this is because lab diamonds still have an environmental impact) they do offer a more eco-friendly alternative to mined diamonds.
Clean Origin boasts a vast collection of loose lab grown diamonds, with color grades available all the way down to K and SI clarity grades. While they carry fewer 1 carat diamonds compared to James Allen, they specialize in larger carat weights, making them a good choice for those seeking more carat for their money. However, it’s important to remember that lab diamonds do not hold their value as well as natural diamonds and are not considered good investments.
Clean Origin offers a variety of lab diamond jewelry options, including customizable solitaire pendants, earrings, and necklaces. Their website has two 360˚ viewers, with the V30 viewer allowing for a detailed examination of the diamond from all angles.
Clean Origin offers a lifetime warranty and a 100-day return policy, with no restocking fees. Generally, Clean Origin provides a great option for those seeking ethically sourced, lab grown diamonds with a focus on larger carat weights.
Clean Origin provides a different viewing experience with its DiaCam 360 viewer, which I find ineffective for examining inclusions due to the diamond appearing gray against a gray background with light reflections causing blind spots.
Clean Origin specializes in lab grown diamonds, which may be certified by GIA, IGI, or GCAL. Despite being a specialty diamond retailer, they offer a wide range of 250 ring styles to choose from. Their Perfect Fit Collection is especially appealing, with slimmed-down shanks that prevent the ring from tilting or spinning.
Unfortunately, Clean Origin does not offer a lifetime warranty for routine repairs, which is a downside of their service. However, they offer an excellent 100-day money-back return policy to compensate for this.
In the diamond industry, good customer service can make or break a company’s success, regardless of pricing. Customers tend to prefer purchasing from establishments with helpful and attentive staff, even if it entails paying slightly higher prices.
I have personally interacted with James Allen’s customer service for answers to my queries, and I must say, their responses have always been adequate and timely. I have never encountered a rude or impatient person, even though I did not intend to purchase anything.
Their customer service is available round the clock, making it convenient for late-night shoppers. You can reach out to them via email, phone, or chat for any queries or sales-related assistance. As their associates do not receive commissions based on sales, you can be assured of impartial advice, unlike popular chain retailers.
Apart from their website and operations team, James Allen also has diamond experts whom you can directly chat with if you have any queries about a loose diamond you intend to purchase. They can provide detailed information about your chosen center stone and ring setting, including the grading report.
Now, I do acknowledge the negative reviews about James Allen. I have looked at their Better Business Bureau page and have seen several complaints, some of which are warranted, while others may not be. However, what stands out is the number of resolved complaints and responses provided by the company.
It is essential to understand that most companies will receive complaints, but how they handle, respond, and address these complaints is crucial to providing good customer service.
Clean Origin’s customer service differs slightly from James Allen’s in that they offer support via email, phone, and live chat during specific hours. They are available Monday through Friday from 8am to midnight EST, and on weekends from 10am to midnight on Sunday and 10am to 7pm on Saturday. Additionally, they offer the option to schedule an appointment with diamond experts for further assistance.
RECOMMENDED: Blue Nile vs Clean Origin
While these hours are generally reasonable, some customers who work late into the night may find them inconvenient. It’s also worth noting that their Saturday closing time is earlier than many traditional jewelry stores, which may stay open later on weekends to accommodate shoppers. However, this may not be as crucial for an online store.
Clean Origin has generally positive reviews on Trustpilot, though recent feedback has been mixed. For example, one customer complained that they were unable to return a defective ring that fell within the 100-day return policy timeframe. This was due to a policy prohibiting the return of rings that had been purchased again, in order to prevent abuse of the return policy.
While this may be frustrating for the customer, it’s important to note that the likelihood of a similar issue happening again is low. Clean Origin has established this policy with this in mind, and may make exceptions if presented with compelling evidence. It’s always helpful to read reviews and complaints, but it’s important to remember that they can be biased.
It’s crucial to have warranties when purchasing an engagement ring or wedding band as these are pieces of jewelry that are intended to be worn frequently and for an extended period of time. This is because, over time, jewelry requires regular maintenance to ensure that the stones are securely in place, the white gold maintains its silvery white color through rhodium plating, and to prevent any potential snags on the ring.
With every ring and diamond jewelry purchase, James Allen provides a lifetime warranty at no cost to the customer. Additionally, within the first year of purchase, they offer one complimentary resizing to ensure a perfect fit in case the original size wasn’t accurate.
Some companies may advertise offering lifetime resizing, it is important to only resize your ring if it is absolutely necessary. Going up or down 1-2 sizes is recommended as further resizing can weaken the metal and potentially compromise the ring’s design, especially with frequent resizing.
Fortunately, James Allen’s warranty covers routine maintenance such as rhodium plating white gold, cleaning and polishing, tightening diamonds, and retipping prongs. Although the warranty is free of charge, there is a shipping fee of $35 for customers in the US and Canada, and $50 for other countries. It is worth noting that just a single rhodium plating service for a diamond engagement ring can cost between $60 to $120.
Some large retailers may boast about replacing missing diamonds under their free warranty, customers need to exercise caution when it comes to center stones. The reality is that you do not get to choose where your inclusions are, which means that the replaced diamond may have a big dark inclusion across its surface. Such warranties can often mislead customers, and it’s best to be aware of potential downsides.
Clean Origin and Blue Nile both offer a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, but I personally view it as a copout and dislike the use of the word “warranty” in this context.
The lifetime manufacturer’s warranty provided by Clean Origin covers any design flaws or defects. For instance, if a lab diamond purchased from Clean Origin falls out of the ring multiple times within a year, it indicates a design defect and not just normal wear and tear.
However, you will be responsible for expenses like rhodium plating, tightening diamonds and gemstones, and rebuilding worn-out prongs. Nonetheless, since purchasing lab-grown diamonds from Clean Origin is cost-effective, the money saved can be utilized for repairing the ring whenever necessary.
Price and Value
It’s evident that the natural diamonds available at James Allen will carry a higher price tag than their lab-grown counterparts. Thus, let’s compare the lab-grown diamonds at James Allen with those at Clean Origin.
For instance, we can consider a 2.05 carat lab-grown diamond from James Allen’s inventory with an ideal cut, VS1 clarity, and G color. It has been certified by IGI and is priced at $6,600.
I have found a comparable diamond with the same specifications from Clean Origin. The 2.05 carat lab-grown diamond with an ideal cut, VS1 clarity, and G color is priced at $5,503.
In this instance, Clean Origin offers a more competitive price. I have compared the diamond pricing between the two companies and found them to be quite similar.
It’s worth noting that James Allen provides a lifetime warranty, which covers the cost of routine repairs over the years. On the other hand, Clean Origin’s repairs are out of pocket.
Considering the prices of both companies are pretty close, the decision ultimately comes down to the benefits each retailer offers in addition to their prices.
Reddit has emerged as a well-liked platform for discussions on engagement rings and reviews of retailers, with various communities dedicated to these topics. Customers post their queries, seek advice, and flaunt their newly-purchased engagement rings and wedding bands.
Several online retailers have an active presence on Reddit, interacting with their customers and addressing their concerns.
As an online diamond retailer, James Allen has a robust presence on Reddit. They participate on the platform under the username “jamesallenrings“. Unlike other retailers, James Allen doesn’t pester customers to buy their jewelry. Instead, they thank those who have already made a purchase or offer advice to customers seeking it.
Several posts about James Allen can be found on the subreddit r/EngagementRings, making it one of the most recommended retailers for buying diamond engagement rings.
However, there aren’t many discussions about lab diamonds on Reddit. While some people do discuss them, the majority tend to purchase natural diamonds from James Allen.
Here’s an example of a post from someone who bought a pear-cut lab diamond from James Allen.
By following this link, you can view the diamond online and compare it to the customer’s video posted on Reddit.
Clean Origin has a relatively low presence in various subreddits. Being a newer company, there aren’t many discussions about them. However, the few that do exist are generally positive, with customers sharing good experiences with the brand.
Clean Origin has a Reddit account under its name, but it seems inactive for over a year. Although, 2020 was a challenging year for many businesses, they could benefit from being more active on the platform.
One interesting thing to note is that Clean Origin has Reddit reviews posted on their website. This is a convenient way for customers to see user-generated content and get an idea of what people are saying about the brand beyond what is controlled on their website.
On Reddit, you won’t find many negative reviews about Clean Origin. Most discussions revolve around comparing them to other lab diamond retailers.
When it comes to lab grown diamonds, we recommend James Allen as the best place to buy them. They have a much larger inventory compared to Clean Origin, with thousands more diamonds to choose from. If you’re looking for diamonds under 2 carats, James Allen is definitely the better option.
While James Allen’s prices may be slightly higher than Clean Origin’s, their lifetime maintenance repairs can save you a lot of money in the long run. Additionally, James Allen is much more active and well-known in the diamond industry, with a significant number of customer reviews and testimonials.
Clean Origin has a positive reputation and some satisfied customers, James Allen’s superior selection and reputation make it the clear choice between the two. Ultimately, either retailer could provide a great shopping experience, but James Allen stands out as the better option for lab grown diamonds.